“Give us this day our daily bread.”
This site is dedicated to my family and friends.
Whole Wheat Flour, Fresh Water, Fine Sea Salt, & Aged, Ripe Levain
Only natural ingredients, no funny stuff…
Folks say that off-the-shelf whole-wheat bread tastes bland. Worse, some in the baking industry add sugars to sell their whole wheat breads. Don’t be fooled by additives!
Artisan Whole Wheat SOURDOUGH!
That’s my bread and butter − yes, sacred stuff.
Aromatic and tangy sourdough boules and batards made with naturally aged levain (an offspring of starter/culture), lots of whole wheat, and no preservatives.
Any recipes featured on this site are public recipes from other bakers’ books and online videos as adapted to my liking. I am not trying to reinvent the wheel.
Use my recipes and baker’s percentages (baker’s math) calculators as you please. They work fine for me, even though I’m continuously enhancing all − my artful craft and hobby.
And, no, I will not be making instructional videos baking German pretzels for the Food Channel…
Lose Weight By Cutting Out Empty Carbs
Five years ago, a nurse practitioner told me that she considered me obese at 5’10” in height and 224 lbs of weight. I was shocked and immediately started to go on a Keto diet, cutting out almost all sugars − those from comfort foods like white bread, pastries, ice cream, and flavored drinks and yogurts.
A year and a half later, I had lost 35 lbs and felt much better. I had no problems keeping my weight at 200 lbs ever since, simply being mindful of low-sugar caloric intake. Brown rice and cauliflower pizza from Costco became my nutritional treats.
In June of 2023, I got hooked on baking whole wheat sourdough loaves simply because of their mouthfeel, aroma, taste, and all. I was a bit afraid that carbs from bread would get my weight back up, but they have not. There are far fewer empty carbs in whole-wheat sourdough bread. I am eating my whole-wheat sourdough bread instead of potatoes, brown rice, or pasta. And I am down to 193 lbs this late in October 2023, without giving up my daily IPA (beer).
Premium whole wheat sourdough bread is very satisfying! Fermented food matters. Now, whole wheat sourdough bread has a bit less of the famous tang of the San Francisco sourdough baguettes as they are made with processed white flour. Yet, whole wheat sourdough bread gives me more: the famous tang, nutritious whole wheat, and fewer empty carbs.
In any case, sourdough’s fermentation process may enhance its digestibility and increase its nutrient availability. Sourdough won’t raise my blood sugar levels as fast as other white breads. However, sourdough should be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and should not be considered a magical cure-all.
San Francisco Sourdough’s Wild Strains
San Francisco sourdough baguettes, batards, and boules are famous for their distinct aroma and tanginess. The Bay area is home to unique strains of naturally occurring microbes (beneficial wild yeasts and friendly lactic acid bacteria) in its foggy environment, and these lively neighbors volunteer to produce the exceptional texture, crumb, aroma, and flavor of the San Francisco sourdough bread.
Instead of using only baker’s yeast (like that in most off-the-shelf breads), true sourdough is made by employing a community of naturally occurring microorganisms. This vital cooperation leads to enhancements of the flavor and aroma of sourdough bread.
Luckily, some of the West Coast’s foggy onshore air reaches into my sleepy West Sacramento neighborhood via the Sacramento River valley. This breeze brings a bit cooler temperatures at times. It ferries some of these naturally occurring wild yeasts (candida humilis) and lactic acid bacteria (lactobacillus sanfranciscensis) that help make my Sacramento sourdough so unique.
Without NutriMill’s Artiste, Mixing Dough Was An Excercise
I did not have a professional spiral dough mixer when I started baking. Neither did I have a regular stand mixer standard to most kitchens. I used my shoulders, arms, and hands, and my family did not pity me. However, NutriMill recently put its Artiste mixer on sale, and I could not resist adding it to my range of baking tools.
I use the mixer to incorporate and thoroughly mix the typical 2,000 g of flour, water, salt, and levain per bake. My right shoulder’s bones, muscles, and ligaments have told me they are very grateful.
The mixer works just fine. It does not wobble or walk on the countertop, and it does not heat up to cause concern. The dough comes out strong and supple.
Dutch Oven Baking In My Sacramento Cottage
Yes, I do not have the space for a large commercial bread oven in my cottage. Nor do I have the intent to run an industrial baking operation. I bake two excellent ~850g loaves in a pair of Dutch ovens in my regular, electric kitchen oven.
And so, I call it all a pico cottage bakery. That works just fine for me for now.
However, it does not get much better when it comes to Dutch-oven baking and bread with nutrition, aroma, taste, and texture. With a sour, tangy aroma and taste, a finer, tighter crumb, and an amazingly chewing crust, the bread takes its flavor from the levain and its color from the wheat grain husks.
The crumb is void of huge holes, thank you. Any melted butter, soft cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or other spread won’t drip through onto my shirt and pants. And thanks to the long fermentation method used, this bread will keep longer without going stale. Even after days stored in the breadbox, it is still great when toasted or reheated for 5 to 8 minutes in the oven at 375° F (if it lasts that long).
Whole Wheat Sourdough Pairs Well With The Powerful Flavors Of Cheese Or Smoked Salmon
Baking bread at home is a rewarding journey, not a destination. Not all loaves look great, as factors like temperature, hydration, fermentation time, etc., affect the performance of my bakes. But I am surprised that every loaf I have baked so far tasted very good and had a great aroma. Family and friends love these loaves of bread.
Baking a decent whole wheat sourdough boule or batard is involved but doable. However, baking sales-worthy sourdough bread consistently well, over and over again, is the mark of a master. One day, I might get there.
“Every time my dad bakes a fresh loaf, I cannot wait to grab a bread knife and help myself to a few slices.”